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Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 ESV
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

kidney vacation

Here I am at the end of my little kidney adventure, which I'm going to start referring to as my kidney vacation, cause let's face it, that sounds so much better than calling it something like 'the tale of throwing up through tremendous pain, while sobbing uncontrollably like a toddler'.  Or, 'my week on IV pain killers'.  Or, 'why my family left me in Bangkok'.  Cause while all those things are true, no one wants the gory details of having a kidney stone...or do you?  Pretty sure I don't want to rehash each moment of the last week of my life.  Just pray you don't get kidney stones.

So this isn't going to be gory details.  This is going to be a small whiff of the wonderfulness of my Father in Heaven.

We have had some changes in our health care coverage, due to some changes in our company.  I was a little worried how this would pan out with the medical bills I accumulated over the past month.  Let me tell you that our insurance covered E.V.E.R.Y. bit of my treatment.  The only part we had to pay for was the price difference of going from a double to single room.  Call me silly but each time I was admitted (I was re-admitted twice after being discharged.  twice.) the thought of puking my guts out in front of a stranger and their family wasn't appealing.  Stan was quite supportive of my decision.

My doctor was wonderful.  It was my first experience with a Urologist.  He was like a Thai granpa that only wanted to help me feel better.  Other than the fact that he's the one that ordered the treatment (twice, I should add) that was basically equivalent to repeatedly punching me in the kidney for an hour straight, I really liked him.  He even joked with me, which if you know me is a necessary coping mechanism.  I felt cared for and listened to and valued as a patient.  The first Urologist I saw did not offer this.  I am so thankful he only works one night a week (must be nice!) and I got someone new when I returned for treatment.

Once we knew Stan and the boys were going to have to hang out a few days before they could get home we called the Guest House run by our peeps to see if there was ANYthing available--they were booked solid due to so many people coming in and out for meetings during the month of February.  When she called me back and told me that all they could offer was a two bedroom apartment through Friday (they day they were leaving) I just about passed out.  The family that was staying there while having a baby got to go home a bit early, so she had that open.  ALL that was available?  Are you kidding me?  Such a huge blessing!

Although we had had hoped I would get to travel home with my guys last Friday, my body just wasn't ready.  Stan decided the best thing for the boys would be to get them home.  Judah was a mess the last two weeks, crying all the time.  He was ready for normal.  Bennett kept asking us when we were going to go back to Earth.  Thailand and outer space are, apparently, the same to him.  I'm beginning to agree.  Kirby was missing his bed, and his toys and done with the heat.  Have I ever told you he is A LOT like his momma in these ways?  So my superman husband packed up our many belongings (three cheers for almost being done with pack n play travel!) leaving my bag here waiting for me at the Guest House, and traveled home with our boys.  Although it's only a two hour flight and then a four hour bus ride, the typical door to door travel time is 12 hours.  TWELVE!  And he did it and you know what he told me when he got home and got the boys in bed...'it wasn't that bad, pretty smooth day.'  This is why he is my perfect match.  He makes everything that I find stressful and a total big deal seem easy and fun.  I. love. him!

And finally after Father had already provided in so many amazing ways through the past week, today HE gave me the greatest blessing of them all.  When I called to get my flight arranged they told me the earliest confirmed flight I could get was for March 27th.  I'm not kidding.  Does anyone else find that completely absurd???  I asked a million questions to find out all my options.  It came down to me getting on the waiting list for a seat on Friday's flight (no flight on Tuesday and the waiting list was 'closed' for Wednesday and Thursday).  The nice--but maybe slightly irritated with me--man said there were Business Class seats available but the only way I could get one was to show up the day of the flight and upgrade at the counter.  So that was what I was going to do.  The extra cost was worth it to me (and Stan).  Then this morning I got a call to confirm I had a seat on Friday's flight.  I was thrilled.  But I decided to ask again about the upgrade option and then Stan and I could discuss what was best.  I don't know what this ladies' tapity tapity fingers were able to do that couldn't be done just 12 hours before but there were now FIVE economy seats open.  OK, so four cause I grabbed one up like it was a free cupcake.  I GO HOME TOMORROW!  Yes, I'm aware that is internet yelling. 

So as we put out requests for each need we had, we knew we had people praying for us all over the world.  And as Father provided, even in the small ways, we praised Him.  We will continue to do so because He is good.  Actually, He is way more than we deserve.

And since I snuck in a few gory details anyway, I'll give you one more.  I now have confirmation of one part of my body that is considered petite...my veins.  Getting an IV in me posed a challenge that some of those nurses were not up for.  It got to the point to where I finally just told them to call in the specialist.  They all started to agree that was best.  I have 7 spots (and 4 still have bruises cause I'm like a peach) of ports of entry, or attempts of such.  It's like connect the dots on my hands, wrists and forearms.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

workation...so far

Thailand has been pretty nice so far.  We've had the best weather I can ever remember during a trip here.  It's not overly humid and even in the afternoon it feels quite pleasant.  Our travels were fairly uneventful.  The worst part so far was the time in Bangkok trying to get all of our medical stuff taken care of.  Once we go to America we have to get medical clearance saying we are healthy and able to return back to our overseas home.  Since we have limited immediate health care they just need to be sure there is nothing serious going on.  We got through our first traumatic day (the boys not only had to have blood drawn and shots but Kirby and Bennett went to the dentist that afternoon...Kirby was brave but Bennett was not lovin' us).  It was about 12 hours at the hospital (I also saw the lady Dr. and Stan had an extensive 5 hour physical).  The next day it was time for my physical.  This includes chest x-rays, EKG, abdominal ultrasound and almost anything else you can imagine to check out full health.  Now maybe you see why it takes so long.  Luckily Stan didn't have to bring the boys.  The next day we all had to go back to pick up paperwork and get our results.  The boys checked out great, Stan checked out great but I got some shocking news...no I'm not pregnant.  They actually found that I have a large cyst on my left ovary and a large stone in my right kidney.  The ovary can be monitored and doesn't need immediate treatment (it doesn't seem to be causing me pain) but the stone is painful and too large to pas on it's on.  That means at least I will have to extend my time here to get treated.  Please pray for me.  All these details need to be planned in the midst of a busy meeting schedule and family vacation.  Despite some discomfort we've had some fun since leaving Bangkok and arriving in Chiang Mai.  We took a family trip to the Zoo/Aquarium, had a day at the pool and yesterday I went to a Thai cooking class with some ladies (Stan had an afternoon golf outing with the guys).  Not to mention some great food!

So I ask for prayers for the pain to stay bearable, for the stone to not start hurting my kidney function (so far it's not) and for all the arrangements to fall in to place easily.  Thanks! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the best I can do today

I feel like there is nothing much going on that is blog worthy.  I've been busy just trying to keep family life going.  I get up, have some Bible time, exercise, home school Kirby, go to school/tutoring for myself, spend the afternoon studying/doing stuff at home/running errands, cook dinner, put the boys to bed and then collapse in bed.  And that collapse takes place at about 7:30.  Next day, repeat.  It's just the nature of the season we are in.  I mean there are fun things mixed in there.  And I must admit that I have started only cooking dinner three times a week.  The other two nights during the week we eat out.  Eating out is cheaper than cooking, usually.  Not to mention it's nice not to have to plan and shop for those meals.

A couple of new things going on during the past week...

-The boys have been sleeping until like 8, or as in the case of this morning 8:45.  If they wake up they don't make a peep and just snuggle down deeper in their covers.  It's been cold.  Freezing most nights, which is much warmer than it's been in most areas of the States, but factor in just a small space heater instead of central heat and you have a family of bed bugs that don't want to be disturbed.
-It's been super hard for me to want to get out of bed too, but I've still tried to be consistent.  However, my 5:30 wake up time has been extended to 6:30.  I'm really hoping when we get back from Thailand it will be significantly warmer in the mornings.
-Oh yeah, we leave for Thailand in 11 days.  And we will be gone three weeks.  It's a workation but considering I've become wimpy when it comes to cold weather (apparently turning 30 has made me more cold natured in comparison to the sweaty mess I was for 29 years) I'm so glad to get to go somewhere warm.  And it will be a nice break from the norm.
-We totally changed up Kirby's home school for reading.  I loved what we chose but it got to be so challenging to the point of both student and teacher frustration.  I decided all parties involved almost reaching the point of tears on a daily basis was not what we were going for.  So we changed it up for a time.  Part of our trip will be a conference with other home schooling moms/students/consultants so I'm looking forward to soaking in some great knowledge.
-Wow, I had way more to say than I originally thought.

I'll end it here.  I can't imagine that the next 11 days will be more exciting than the past 11.  I'll be digging out sunscreen/bating suits/summer clothes (three cheers for my capris of yester year fitting!), making sure we have all appropriate toiletries in convenient travel sizes and getting it all packed in as few bags as possible so that my pack mule husband won't curse me and all my stuff.  Not to mention trying to figure out what randome meals I can put together with what we have hanging out in the fridge and pantry. 

Did I mention that it's freezing cold?  Oh, maybe I did.  What I didn't tell you is it's cold enough to see our breath.  Inside our house.  And we had hail this afternoon and the boys thought it was snow.  Poor boys.  Now, let me get back to preparing the best tomato soup ever! 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

that was fast

And just like that...it's 2011.

We had a wonderful Christmas.  Lots of great family time.  Time with friends on Christmas Eve and Christmas evening.  And a special week with my mom and Larry.  Seriously I think the gift of time was the best thing I got this year.  Even though they came to Bangkok when Judah was born, I was quite consumed with my last few days of pregnancy, delivery and that first newborn week when life is nothing but a fog of sweet baby moments.  So this was the first time I really had with them in 2 1/2 years.  It was a quick week but nice.  Some showing them around and some just sitting around and being together.  Perfect.  Hopefully Larry got some good shots of all of us cause Stan got a bunch of us walking around, including a lot with a view of my butt.  I'm not in to posting my butt on the internet.  So I'm hoping Larry got a few with smiling faces.

Anyway, with this new year starting, so many people talk about their resolutions.  I tend not to like to make resolutions, cause those get broken.  Especially since 2011 already has quite a lot on the calendar.  I do, however, have a few major goals for 2011.  I'll list them, but only because I know it would stress you out not to know.  I'm a good friend like that.

~ Get this last 8 to 10 kilos off.  I like using kilos cause it's less.  Yes, I do understand it's not really less.  I have a range because during times of weight maintenance I flucutuate so much.  I've decided that 8 more is the high end of where I want to be...make sense?

~ Get to the level of language where I need to be.  This is major and in some ways could determine the exact timing of when we will get to go back to the States.  Yes, I feel the pressure.

~ Finish Kindergarten with Kirby feeling that he is truly ready for 1st grade.  Not to mention take time while in the States to do a little more research about curriculum direction for the rest of his elementary years.  We get to go to a home school conference in Thailand in February, so that should help out as well.

~ Spend more time on my marriage.  Stan and I tend to neglect each other when we are in seasons of life that are super busy.  It happens before we even know it.  The best part about anticipating a busy season of life is to be able to head off this slippery slope.  Since each month will be scheduled around a big event (or two) for most of the year, we can go ahead and schedule in those date nights, or afternoons out, to begin with.  And when we are in the States we are pretty certain that any and all grandparents will be happy to take the boys off our hands. :)

So TWENTY ELEVEN is the year of: getting back my figure (and possibly my groove), speaking another laguage well(ish), making progress on figuring out this teaching my children thing and loving my husband better.

What are your goals for 2011?  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Advent

This weekend was full of fun Advent activities.  Each year I like to think on what this whole season really means.  It's hard to be away from family and friends during this time, but I know for sure that I will NEVER  be away from my Lord.  And what a special time to remember His 'coming'.

Saturday night was a wonderful time of fellowship with ladies.  My friend E has a cookie swap each year, something I always really look forward to.  It was so wonderful to laugh and chat and just be with the amazing ladies that I have the honor to be surrounded by.  Not to mention eat all of E's wonderful food. ;)  Sunday morning was another sweet time with our fellowship group.  Both times we sang the following song.  Two different people planned the music for each...E for the ladies' party and G for Sunday morning.  Of course G had no idea we sang it the night before, cause he isn't a lady.  So, I took it as a sure sign that the Lord just really wanted me to savor the words and meditate them on them.  So of course I have to share.


Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.